May 16, 2009

Melbourne Age in favour of Parthenon Marbles Reunification

Posted at 10:22 pm in Elgin Marbles

Like many newspapers, the Melbourne Age has regularly published pieces in favour of the reunification of the Elgin Marbles.

Greek Reporter (Australia)

The Age” in favor of Marbles return to Greece
Posted on 16 May 2009 by Anastasios Papapostolou

In an article in Australia’s “The Age” newspaper entitled “Britain runs out of excuses for keeping Elgin Marbles” underlines that the opening of the New Acropolis Museum will minimize the British Museums argument that it is the best place to house the marbles that were removed from the Acropolis by Lord Elgin.
According to the article, for two centuries, Britain has held on to a collection of ancient treasures from Greece, defying the latter’s moral claim to the sculptures known as the Elgin Marbles. Even that popular name, after the British ambassador who took them from the fabled Parthenon temple in Athens, singularly fails to acknowledge the place of the statuary in Greek heritage. Pericles commissioned the series of sculpted panels in the 5th century BC to commemorate his victory against Persia. They did so for 2300 years at the Parthenon until Lord Elgin, ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, came along in 1801, when Athens was under enemy occupation, and took them.

Since 1816, when the British Museum bought the statuary for £35,000 after Parliament voted to acquire them for the nation, Britain has played the role of custodian, preserving these treasures for posterity. Had Britain been occupied and the treasures of Buckingham Palace removed across the channel, one doubts the British would ever have seen this as anything but looting, however the “custodians” dressed it up. In any case, the marbles were damaged by attempts to “clean” them in the 1930s.
Next month, the opening of the Acropolis Museum, with reserved space for the missing works that exactly matches the Parthenon temple dimensions, will further weaken Britain’s tenuous claim to be best placed to look after these treasures. Greece, which retains 36 of the 115 panels in the Parthenon frieze, will be able to display the 160-metre-long work better than the British Museum could ever do. Fears of setting a precedent – which could, for instance, affect many of the 40,000 Aboriginal artefacts held overseas – do not alter the original wrongs committed in the service of the British Empire. With most Britons supporting the Greek claim, Britain ought finally to return its ill-gotten “marbles” to where they belong.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Possibly related articles

Tags: , , , ,

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment

We want to hear your views. Be as critical or controversial as you like, but please don't get personal or offensive. Remember this is for feedback and constructive discussion!
Comments may be edited or removed if they do not meet these guidelines. Repeat offenders will be blocked from posting further comments. Any comment deemed libellous by Elginism's editors will be removed.
The commenting system uses some automatic spam detection and occasionally comments do not appear instantly - please do not repost comments if they do not show up straight away